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Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
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Archive: Economy Watch

Bernanke Sought Lawsuit Over AIG Bonuses

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified today that he wanted to sue bailout recipient American International Group to stop them from paying $165 million in bonuses, but Fed lawyers advised against litigation. Bernanke's testimony before the House Financial Services Committee comes several days after AIG CEO Edward Liddy told lawmakers that the Fed signed off on the bonuses long before they became public.

By Amanda Zamora | March 24, 2009; 04:26 PM ET | Comments (3)

Windfall for Credit Raters?

The big three credit rating companies have been vilified by many in Congress and the business world for their role in the meltdown of the financial system. But that hasn't kept the companies from an unexpected windfall in the latest government plan to unfreeze the flow of money.

By The Editors | March 20, 2009; 01:59 PM ET | Comments (2)

Bonuses Attacked, But What About Bailout?

The bonuses granted to American International Group officials have become a lightning rod for public anger over the past and present excesses of executives in the financial industry.

By The Editors | March 17, 2009; 04:52 PM ET | Comments (7)

SEC Moves to Reinstate Rule for Short-Sellers

Created in 1938, toward the end of the Great Depression, and abolished in July 2007 by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, the rule regulated short-selling on Wall Street by only allowing traders to make "short-sales" following a higher bid in a stock price.

By Derek Kravitz | March 11, 2009; 03:56 PM ET | Comments (3)

The Business Scandal Before the Bust

Illegal stock-option backdating occurs when companies fail to disclose the lower-than-market-share prices they offer to executives in federal filings. Executives get in trouble when they agree to buy stock based on a lower price on an earlier date, essentially "backdating" the purchase.

By Derek Kravitz | March 10, 2009; 03:39 PM ET | Comments (2)

UBS: 'Protect the Banking Secrecy'

A standoff between U.S. congressional leaders and Swiss bankers comes to a head today as a senior executive at UBS, which is in hot water over allegations it helped some American investors evade some of their income taxes, testifies on Capitol Hill.

By Derek Kravitz | March 4, 2009; 04:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Wall Street: 'We Are Sorry' for Meltdown

Mack was one of eight of Wall Street's top chief executives testifying in front of the House Financial Services Committee to discuss what they are doing with some $350 billion in federal bailout money doled out to financially struggling banks and investment firms. Some offered apologies; others laid out sometimes-detailed plans of how they're spending the money.

By Derek Kravitz | February 11, 2009; 04:14 PM ET | Comments (1)

SEC Moves to Take 'Handcuffs Off' Regulators

To combat growing criticism of how the federal government watches over the financial markets, the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission said she is ending a two-year policy requiring agents to get approval from the government's five-person commission before negotiating fines and penalties with firms accused of violating federal regulations.

By Derek Kravitz | February 6, 2009; 02:26 PM ET | Comments (1)

Treasury Chief Responds to Bailout Critics

In a move designed to to stem criticism of the government's $700 bailout program, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner plans to meet today with members of a congressional oversight panel that has been especially critical of the plan.

By Derek Kravitz | January 28, 2009; 12:35 PM ET | Comments (1)

Death on Wall Street, Fact and Rumor

Back in 1929, the collapse of the financial markets on Wall Street led some bankers and speculators to drastic measures. Nearly 80 years later, with the same dim financial outlook spreading panic among investors and exacerbated by a host of recently-uncovered get-rich-quick schemes, some Wall Street mavens have similarly gone to their own personal last resorts.

By Derek Kravitz | January 22, 2009; 05:10 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Downfall of AIG's 'Beautiful Machine'

In the last of a three-part series into the downfall of the New York insurance firm American International Group Inc., The Post examined the damaging influence of executive Joseph Cassano and his credit-default swapping unit, AIG Financial Products.

By Derek Kravitz | December 31, 2008; 04:03 PM ET | Comments (2)

Are Bonuses the Next Bailout Casualty?

Goldman Sachs' decision to forgo handing out bonuses to seven of its top executives, calling it the "right thing to do," could reverberate throughout the economically-weakened Wall Street economy, as firms face equally blistering quarterly earnings reports and harsh questioning from lawmakers and the public.

By Derek Kravitz | November 17, 2008; 02:09 PM ET | Comments (6)

Another Resort Trip for AIG

The federally-sponsored Wall Street bailout, initially priced at $700 billion to save a host of troubled mortgage lenders, investment banks and firms, now appears to be only the tip of the iceberg. The real amount? Close to $2 trillion, analysts say.

By Derek Kravitz | November 11, 2008; 04:11 PM ET | Comments (1)

Feds Interview Countrywide Whistleblower

Federal investigators spent six hours interviewing a former loan officer with Countrywide Financial, the fallen loan agency that apparently gave high-profile clients discounts on their home mortgage loans, NBC News reports.

By Derek Kravitz | October 30, 2008; 06:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Greenspan and Co. Describe Wall Street 'Tsunami'

Today's congressional hearing on the "actions and inaction of federal regulators" behind the Wall Street financial crisis featured some dire words from three of the chief architects of the country's financial system.

By Derek Kravitz | October 23, 2008; 04:01 PM ET | Comments (14)

Lobbying Limits on Wall Street

The move by American International Group Inc., the financial-services firm behind a massive $123 billion bailout by the federal government, to stop all of its lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill signals a shift in how Wall Street firms react to the government-backed recovery plan.

By Derek Kravitz | October 21, 2008; 02:43 PM ET | Comments (0)

Feds Probe Risky Swaps Market

Federal and state prosecutors have opened up the first probe of the largely unregulated swaps market, the first such investigation started in light of the Wall Street financial crisis.

By Derek Kravitz | October 20, 2008; 02:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

The AIG Executive Under the Spotlight

As federal investigators probe the circumstances of insurance giant American International Group's collapse, the name most associated with the firm's multi-billion dollar government-sponsored bailout has been former executive Joseph J. Cassano.

By Derek Kravitz | October 13, 2008; 05:41 PM ET | Comments (0)

AIG Cancels Ritz Trip, Other Events

Amid a firestorm of criticism over its $443,000 executive retreat to a luxurious southern California resort, bailed-out insurance giant AIG Inc. is canceling its Ritz-Carlton business meeting in Half Moon Bay, Calif., and most of its other get-togethers, company officials said.

By Derek Kravitz | October 10, 2008; 02:28 PM ET | Comments (10)

AIG Executive Retreat Irks Lawmakers

A few days after the federal government unveiled an $85 billion bailout package for the insurance company AIG, the firm's executives went on a week-long retreat at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif. The tab: $440,000.

By Derek Kravitz | October 7, 2008; 04:26 PM ET | Comments (71)

McCain Aide's Freddie Mac Connection

In an effort to court supporters on Capitol Hill, the troubled investment firm Freddie Mac hired longtime McCain confidant Mark Buse as a lobbyist, The Post's Matthew Mosk and David S. Hilzenrath.

By Derek Kravitz | October 3, 2008; 11:08 AM ET | Comments (0)

'Small' Sweeteners in the Big Bailout

The Senate-passed version of the "2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act," the federal government's attempt to bail out distressed Wall Street investment firms with $700 billion in funding, is full of pork-barrel spending, an attempt to give the politically-dicey legislation a better chance of passing in the House.

By Derek Kravitz | October 2, 2008; 07:37 PM ET | Comments (7)

Wall Street Criminal Probe Widens

As news of Congress' failure to pass a sweeping $700 billion bailout package for Wall Street sent stocks tumbling, investigators continued today to pursue criminal cases against firms and bankers accused of causing the market collapse.

By Derek Kravitz | September 29, 2008; 03:08 PM ET | Comments (4)

Wall Street Scrutinized for Fraud, Fat Paychecks

The FBI's decision to investigate criminal wrongdoing at four troubled Wall Street firms at the center of the financial market's dramatic shakeup represents one of the bureau's largest undertakings in years, a potentially more daunting task than the five-years-long investigation into Enron.

By Derek Kravitz | September 24, 2008; 11:04 AM ET | Comments (7)

Candidates Duel Over Wall Street Probe

The presidential candidates have sharply different takes on how to deal with the nation's economic crisis.

By The Editors | September 17, 2008; 01:20 PM ET | Comments (4)

Behind-Scenes Frenzy Led To Lehman Collapse

The pressure-filled final days of negotiations between the Federal Reserve and Wall Street over the future of the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers firm largely unfolded behind closed doors, as bankers grappled with whether or not to save the company as they argued for a federal buyout.

By Derek Kravitz | September 16, 2008; 03:08 PM ET | Comments (9)


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